PhD: the P stands for presentations…

I haven’t posted for a while so I thought that I would give a little update as to what’s been going on and how life as a second year PhD student really is — full of giving lots and lots of presentations and trying to fit your lab work in around them. That might be a slight exaggeration but recent weeks have been particularly talk-heavy. March was a fairly stressful month in my personal life, the passing of two people close to me plus several others still struggling with the C word.  This happened to coincide with my big PhD upgrade meeting and I also had to prepare presentations for our departmental symposium and for the Microbiology Society Annual Conference.

Happily I managed to upgrade with no issues and this definitely helped with preparations for my conference talk. I’m fortunate enough to have excellent supervisors and Thesis Advisory Panel members who provide really useful feedback and support which helps quieten down the nervous chatter in my brain. The second year symposium was actually a super interesting day — it’s rare the you get the change to hear about the research that your peers are doing (outside of our huge lab group, anyway) and it was interesting and comforting in equal measures. No one is yet ready to publish in Nature which makes me feel slightly less anxious.

conference
Presenting at the Microbiology Society Annual Conference in Edinburgh.

The Conference was a fantastic week, despite my constant nerves for basically the whole time. My talk wasn’t until later in the week which gave me plenty of time to scout out the venue and make a note of what worked well in other people’s talks. I brought my new Dorothy shoes out for the occasion (‘if it doesn’t go well then you can just click your heels together and say there’s no place like home’ – Sophie R) and was relieved to at the very least make it up the stairs without falling over. The presentation went by in a bit of a blur but according to Twitter it seemed to go down okay.

So that was the last month or so. I now have about 4 weeks in the lab before I head off to the Yorkshire Museum for a three month placement as part of my BBSRC funding. I can’t wait, it’s going to be super interesting to try my hand at something a bit different.  I’m hoping it will also mean no more presentations for a while.

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